NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Lucille Austin ( -1977)
Professor Lucille Austin was a member of the faculty of the Columbia University School of Social Work for 36 years. She was recognized as one of the foremost social work educators of her time.
A native of Wisconsin, Mrs. Austin attended the University of Washington where she earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa as well as membership in the Honorary Sociology Society. She was a graduate of the New York School of Social Work, the Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work.
Her long teaching career was complimented by extensive practice at the Community Service Society of New York City over a period of 18 years. It was this dual commitment to practice and teaching that marked Austin as a memorable educator. Austin also taught in the casework sequence at the Smith College Graduate School of Social Work.
She wrote many articles on a variety of subjects relating to the practice of casework, supervision, and in the developing theories of treatment classification. Her abilities were well recognized because other graduate schools of social work frequently called upon her to present seminars on the role of supervision and the nature of the supervisory relationship for improving performance, both for students as well as caseworkers, to their field work agencies seminars.
The deans and the faculty of the Columbia University School of Social Work undertook a series of lectures entitled the Annual Lucille M. Austin Visiting Fellow Program, financed by contributions from colleagues and former students after her death in Scarsdale, NY in 1977. The lectures acknowledged her contributions to the social work profession as a scholar, practitioner, teacher, and friend.